Let me start off by saying that I loathe the media today. It will inevitably take a day or at most a month for whatever stories that were featured on said day to be either turned on their head or revealed to be utter lies. That being said the author of this book is not the media I oft think of when the Iraq war comes to mind or our country's immediate policies in Iraq today. I do not care if the author is for or against the left or right I care about what he reports and what he doesn't report.
The book is made up of essays, some longer some shorter, but the author conveys sarcasm in practically every one of them. Some of it is rightly deserved for the ignorant policies and steps being taken by this administration. At first I was annoyed to see that there is no real mention of any progress being made, the progress that we would regularly hear about in the media, from both sides at times. That is US soldiers saying they can see they are making a difference and Iraqis saying they are seeing a difference. At the same time it became clear to me that these differences might be so minuscule in the grand scheme of things that the minutia they represent might not matter to the majority which is suffering in spite of all the so called 'progress.' There comes a time when it is obvious that while some good things might have come out of this unneeded war when it first began, today the administration and army have screwed it up so badly that there is no hope in sight. Please understand that by 'the army' I more so mean the generals involved and the policies that are being implemented via the armed forces rather than the troops who have been given a job they were not, in effect, trained for.
I was surprised to learn, although perhaps I shouldn't have been, that some states take in all the refugees streaming from Iraq into their borders, Syria. While others make it unnecessarily difficult, Jordan. Not surprising on the other hand was seeing that various rich Arab elements in the Middle East haven't given a dollar to help those in need, their Arab or Muslim brothers. Comparable to the Palestinian 'refugee' situation, but only in so much as what that situation was half a century ago, not today.
Read this book for what it is and not for what it lacks. You have here a view of the results of the current Bush administration from one point of view. You can read about the benefits this war has given to Iraq in other studies and monographs and then juxtapose it with what you have seen here. Although perhaps this book will be seen by some as a dubious source, since it isn't written by standards which many might expect (compared to a history book that has footnotes/endnotes and a bibliography, this book has none), I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand. This is a reporter with a variety of stories to tell and for those interested in what Iraq is going through today, I'm sure they'll appreciate his candor and honesty.
The only time I found myself actively disagreeing with the author was when he generalized US and Israeli policies. It is obvious that he isn't taking an objective look at the situation throughout the book, which is why I continue to point out that it is his point of view which should be juxtaposed with others. That Cheney is behind all, I do not know for sure. That it is the 'ziocons' that is Zionist Neocons, I would highly disagree with. The term Zionist has been taken out of context since the creation of Israel and I am weary to see it used in such a context. In the end the author's honesty and candor offer some fresh perspectives on the crisis shaping up in the middle east but on their own they take too much out of context. This book can be a companion to others but cannot ever stand alone as a reasonable example of what the middle east looks like today.